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Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages (DRIL) program

DRIL program

What is the Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages program?Adnyamathanha storytelling

The Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages (DRIL) Program has been created to support the long-term maintenance of Australian Aboriginal languages.

This innovative training program aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to work autonomously in developing, managing and running their own language projects themselves. Since its national launch in 2012, the DRIL Training Program has played a significant role in increasing the effectiveness and capacity of Indigenous Language Centres and grassroots Community Language Teams to reclaim, revitalise and maintain Australia's Indigenous languages.

The people who take part in this program also learn to share their skills with other people in their own communities and organisations. In this way, more and more people will have the skills to develop and run their own language projects.

Follow this link to learn more about the DRIL training team and the Consultation Group members who helped us develop the accredited pathway for DRIL.


RNLD offers three strands of training. These are described below.

1. Flexible DRIL training workshops

Undoonoo day care

Since the DRIL pilot was launched in 2010, this innovative training program has worked with more than 550 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and has supported approximately 96 of Australia's First Languages across all states and territories. Our participants have included individuals, family groups, community groups, language teams, staff of Aboriginal Language Centres, art centres, traditional owner organisations and other Indigenous organisations.

Click on the links below to learn more about our Flexible DRIL program:

the way the DRIL training program runs and how you can join in,

the training modules (subjects) that we currently offer,

the languages we've supported,

the places where we've been running our workshops since the DRIL pilot program was launched in October 2010, and the organisations and people around the country with whom we work.


2. Nationally recognised courses

The Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity offers two nationally recognised training programs. Click on the links below to learn more about these programs.

10124NAT Certificate II in Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program

10541NAT Certificate III in Aboriginal Languages for Communities and Workplaces

We are now in the process of developing a Certificate IV in Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages.

The non-accredited, Flexible pathway will continue to be offered alongside the accredited pathways.


3. Professional Development workshops

The DRIL training team is running a series of Leadership Professional Development workshops with DRIL participants from around Australia. The goals of these workshops are to:

  • increase the professional capacity of Indigenous people engaged in language work
  • strengthen the participants' knowledge of linguistics, language documentation, and language revitalisation methods
  • develop the capacity of Indigenous language activists to become trainers and share skills with other people in families, communities and workplaces, and
  • help to build a professional network amongst Indigenous language activists

In 2014, two Stage I Professional Development workshops were held from January 14-21 and November 18-25.

In 2015, a Stage II Professional Development workshop was held from July 6-16 with the 2014 participants, to increase their skills in language teaching and linguistics. A new cohort of trainees entered the Professional Development program through a Stage I workshop held from 23-28 November 2015.

In 2016, the second cohort continued their training with a Stage II workshop held from 30 May - 4 June 2016.

In 2017, both cohorts came together for a Stage III workshop held from 29 May - 3 June.


Contact RNLD

Please contact RNLD if you are interested in participating in this training program.